When Indira came back to power, she could not complete her term as she was tragically assassinated. But that led to the biggest mandate in Independent India in the form of Rajiv Gandhi whose party crossed 400 Lok Sabha seats for the first time ever.
But even Rajiv slowly frittered it all away. Far from putting a soothing balm after the disgraceful anti-Sikh riots of 1984, Rajiv said something to the effect of "Jab ek bada ped girta hai, toh zameen hilti hai" (When a giant tree falls, the earth shakes).
Congress leaders accused of masterminding the riots were rewarded.
The Ramjanmabhoomi gates were thrown open, which led to the infamous movement of the early 1990s, which ultimately led to the BJP coming to power.
Trusted aide VP Singh drifted apart and engineered the collapse of the Congress.
In 1989 you could say that Rajiv let down Rajiv.
The two-year Janata Dal government that followed was merely a repeat of Janata Party experiment. The JD toppled the JD.
Image: File photo taken on December 20, 1988, of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi on the Great Wall of China.
(Photograph copyright AFP. Any unauthorised reproduction is prohibited)